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What to do?

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by beachcombah15, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. beachcombah15

    beachcombah15 Member

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    Cape Cod MA
    If you guys wouldn't mind sparing your always enlightening advice, I would love some. Currently as a sophmore in high school, i like many other high school students am worrying about college. At this point I have set schedule up for the last couple of years so that during the schoolyear, I am fully dedicated to my loving work of lighting and tech at school. While adversely during the summer I completely change over to my other passion of cooking, where I work two jobs averaging about 70-80 hours a week between the two restaurants.

    Up until this point this has worked very comfortably, until this point where I am starting to scratch the surface of research for college. Although I do love working at the restaurants, at this point I am leaner more towards a career in something along the lines of theatre technology or lighting/sound etc. So, I come to this junction, asking anyone and everyone who has advice to offer, what do I need to do here? I feel like I do not want to be narrow minded and just choose one path to follow this early. What have you done to be successful at what you do for a living? What should I do to help my chances at getting into college? As I am learning as I go along here, I am welcome to anything you are willing to say

    Thank You very much -Sam
  2. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately, as a college student NOT majoring in theatre, I can't offer much advice.

    Good luck on the College search. My advice is to not only ask questions like this to professionals, but also talk to the program directors at the colleges you visit. Find out what their job placement rate is. See if they offer any job recruiting programs. That is one thing that will help you consider your college choice.
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Getting into college for theatre is not a huge undertaking, getting into NCSA or Carnegie Mellon is another. If you are good at what you do, you don't need to worry about getting in.

    Heres a piece of advice I was given.... If there is anything in life that you think you should do besides theatre, go do that. Not saying you can not do both, but if you want to do the cooking thing, and like it, go do it. Theatre is a fun life, but you have to want it. If you don't want it enough, you will not make it.

    I don't want to tell you not to do theatre, but if you have doubt you should probably do the other one.
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Las Vegas
    I agree with Kyle. OK, so I do work professionally and have been doing so for the past 15 years (I'm not counting work I did in college or HS). What I often tell people is that theater is a much more limited job field than many other industries. Consider how many theaters you have in your town vs. how many theaters. Now figure out how many full time employees. One of the worst things about working in theater is retirement. Most stagehands work on-call or seasonal positions which don't contribute towards retirement (beyond your own savings). Also, since theaters have fewer employees, your benefits will cost you more. For instance, I worked for a theater complex in Phoenix as a TD (full time) and my insurance for me and my family was over $600/month. I was considered to be making a good wage for full time theater in that city of around $30k. Roughly 1/4 of my income was just going to my benefits (not including a 401k which I couldn't afford to contribute to) so I was forced to also take other calls on my days off. While that employer didn't mind, I have had others who would have terminated me for working for someone else. Even here in Las Vegas, I know of many stagehands who have a hard time getting by, while others are making a decent wage. Then again, I know of many stagehands who work into their 70's, not for the joy of what they're doing, but to keep on living.

    I'm not saying that you won't be successful in theater or in cooking. I just offer that you have more options following your other desires than theater. In the mean time, you probably can continue to work with theater in your spare time if you choose. It won't be easy since if you are really successful as a chef, then you will probably be working all those same wonderful hours we work in theater, nights, weekends, and holidays. After all, both of your career choices are striving towards disposable income. It really depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have and how much money it will take to achieve that lifestyle.

    I used to say: Actors without stagehands are standing naked in the dark trying to emote, while stagehands without actors have marketable skills. What I have found is that so many people "did theater in high school" and don't take what we do seriously. Many people don't understand what relevant skills are needed for successful productions, and that can dramatically impact your career options.

    I hope that you are successful in whatever you do. If you are still undecided, go out and try to get work in both and see if you like what you are doing.

    Good Luck!
  5. aporter2012

    aporter2012 Member

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    Valparaiso Indiana
    I found myself in your position, in high school. I knew that theatre was something that I really enjoyed but I also liked the whole restaurant idea. I sat around and kinda waited for the decision to be made for me... which never happened. I finally sat down and thought things out. I tried to picture my life without theatre. Theatre was something that helped shape who I was, and gave me an escape during both middle school and high school. Obviously theatre became something I enjoyed and had become good at. However, I was afraid that if I pursued theatre in college and as a profession, it would lose its enjoyment. This was a big fear for me. I started looking at schools and saw that some school's theatre program was very serious and others didn't. I wanted to be in a school that had a strong theatre program filled with people who took theatre as seriously as I did. People said I should choose to be a chef because there is more job security and such. Plus, they said, I would always have community theatre. I finally made my choice to go into theatre. I always keep the idea of being a chef in the back of my head. As I look at it now, I saw that I would always be able to cook and entertain my friends on a personal level. Though I am a strong believer in community theatre, I didn't want to be trapped in community theatre because of lack of schooling. As for job security, if you are good, you will never worry about being employed.
    In the end, it is your choice. I was lucky to find a theatre program that fit me perfectly. I also found friends that also enjoy cooking and, yes you guessed, we cook about once a month.
    You are at an exciting time. You get to choose what you want to do. Take it as a time to reach down and learn about yourself. You will make a decision, and go with it. In the end, if you change your mind, it's can do that!!!
    Good luck!!!!

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